Metagame SM Doubles OU

Arcticblast

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We understand (and are glad!) that people enjoy SM DOU, but with the upcoming generation shift, it's time to sunset the ladder. The SM DOU ladder will be removed with the release of Scarlet and Violet.

If ORAS and BW DOU can still maintain their own communities without a ladder, SM DOU will be just fine.
 
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Arcticblast

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Hey gang, how's it going?

I was previously under the impression that the oldgen ladders would be removed no matter what after the full transition to Scarlet and Violet. After making my last post, however, I decided to send Marty a PM about the possibility of keeping oldgen ladders up. He told me that the existing ladders have excellent activity already, but the last time BW and ORAS had temporary ladders, they had low activity. After discussing it with the other forum mods, we have decided to keep the SM DOU and SS DOU ladders up for the forseeable future! In other words, I'm a fuckin' liar lmao

BW and ORAS are technically possible, but we would need to demonstrate that there's significant interest in those formats getting ladders, and that's not something that's happening at the beginning of a new generation.
 
Hey gang, how's it going?

I was previously under the impression that the oldgen ladders would be removed no matter what after the full transition to Scarlet and Violet. After making my last post, however, I decided to send Marty a PM about the possibility of keeping oldgen ladders up. He told me that the existing ladders have excellent activity already, but the last time BW and ORAS had temporary ladders, they had low activity. After discussing it with the other forum mods, we have decided to keep the SM DOU and SS DOU ladders up for the forseeable future! In other words, I'm a fuckin' liar lmao

BW and ORAS are technically possible, but we would need to demonstrate that there's significant interest in those formats getting ladders, and that's not something that's happening at the beginning of a new generation.
Did this decision get reversed or something? The Gen 7 DOU ladder is just gone now.
 

Idyll

formerly Memoric
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We should probably do something about Darkrai and Dark Void, because the current ruleset is inconsistent with Smogon Tiering Philosophy(tm). This is something that I've been repeatedly been annoying about in DOUcord and, frankly, I'm actually only making this post so there's actual documentation on the topic in the forum instead of everything being through Memoric Discord Chatting and Instigation(tm).

As to why we should do something, it's simple really: we don't ban parts of Pokemon but the Pokemon itself, unless we can objectively separate said part as the actual problematic element. This can only be done if anything else had said part. An example of a Pokemon instead of a part being banned is the SV OU Houndstone ban; instead of banning Last Respects, they banned Houndstone itself as it was the only Pokemon with access to the move. There's also essentially a tacit agreement that this ban will be revisited once the leaked other Pokemon with access to Last Respects becomes accessible.

This is essentially the same case with Dark Void. Darkrai is the only Pokemon that can actually use Dark Void mechanically; while Smeargle technically can legally have the move within its moveset, it can't actually use it so, effectively, it's as if Smeargle doesn't have access to the move. Thus, by Smogon philosophy, Darkrai and Dark Void are inseperable and the correct ban in this case is Darkrai.

...however, would it actually be necessary to ban Darkrai (and by extension, Dark Void)? Honestly, probably not. Despite hitting both foes, it has an abysmal 50% accuracy and is thus quite unreliable. The metagame is also naturally quite prepared to deal with sleep as Tapu Koko and Tapu Fini are staples on nearly every SM DOU team, with Darkrai's place in the metagame at large being dubious at best. We honestly probably could live with Darkrai and Dark Void unbanned; not only would it barely affect the metagame, we'd also get to tie this loose end within our ruleset.

Thus, I am suggesting that we should free Dark Void in SM DOU. We should formally vote on this at the most convenient time in order to properly and adequately alter our ruleset for the better. Whether it be with a suspect or just a vote from a pool of experienced SM DOU players is up to the DOU Powers-That-Be, but I definitely do think it should be done with the will of a significant player population.
 
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I'm glad to have this posted here, since I'm not really active in the DOU Discord. I agree with the logic you present here, and, as one of the most active DOU ladder players at the moment, I would be more than happy to see Darkrai with Dark Void be tried out in the tier. I also don't believe it would be problematic. Due to the power of Bronzong and Amoonguss, every good team must already take considerations for opposing sleep users. This is usually very easy to achieve through use of Tapu Fini or Tapu Koko, two of the best and most slappable mons in the tier, and both of whom also threaten Darkrai with their fairy STABs.

I am in favor of freeing, or at least testing, Dark Void in SM DOU.
 

Darkmalice

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Brief thoughts:
  • I am not opposed to testing Dark Void in SM DOU, on the basis that it may not be broken (over dominates the metagame) or uncompetitive (makes battle outcomes too unreliant on skill, such as overly reliant on luck).
  • Regardless of whether it is broken or not, I do believe it will result in a less enjoyable metagame. That is due to the highly luck-based nature of the move (50% accuracy to sleep both opponents, in addition to the inherent-luck based mechanic of when you wake up). But this isn't a reason to ban a move unless it becomes uncompetitive.
  • I am highly opposed to banning Darkrai instead of Dark Void. This is essentially returning to a past metagame to remove something that is nowhere close to broken or uncompetitive without any gain and hence actively worsening the metagame. The reasoning of banning Darkrai instead Dark Void lies solely on "policy." Any policy that actively worsens a metagame without gain is flawed and should be adjusted, scrapped or ignored (we're Doubles and are not bound to follow the rules of Singles). The argument "unless we can objectively separate said part as the actual problematic element" is ridiculous when we have been playing with Darkrai for years and it isn't even considered good enough to have a tiering rank. The argument "If hypothetically another Pokemon gets Dark Void and isnt broken with it, then if Darkrai is broken with it, then Darkrai must be broken" is an impossible (or at most extremely unlikely) scenario since its a past generation and no other Pokemon in this generation is ever getting Dark Void. Such a scenario should not be considered.
 
The suggestion re: freeing Dark Void is intriguing. Currently, Darkrai is seen only very rarely on the SM DOU ladder and almost never past the 1400s. It's usually running Hypnosis, which is hit or miss, but only has one target. Obviously, there are many Pokemon who sometimes run Hypnosis and its effectiveness is greatly hampered by the presence of Tapus Fini and Koko, which are used more and more frequently the higher you get up the ladder (the vast majority of top teams have one).

So my initial reaction was similar to Veecy's. What harm can a move that only has 50% accuracy do on an otherwise suboptimal mon? Then I started thinking more about how this could play out. Hypnosis is really most dangerous (and only viable on the ladder) when its accuracy is boosted. The most prominent example of this is Purple Rain Lele's Trick Room team, where Bronzong uses Z Trick Room to immediately get speed control and an accuracy boost. Of course it's backed up by Lele who gets rid of pesky Misty and Electric Terrains.

Most of us SM DOU ladder denizens are also at least familiar with Coil, which can, for instance, turn Milotic into an accurate sleep inducer, but Milotic is slow and not great offensively, so the strat is pretty fringe. Imagine, however, that you get off a couple Coils on a bulky Milotic (or Zygarde), then switch into Darkrai as safely as you can (e.g., through a slow Incin U-Turn). Next turn you could use Psych Up on Milotic (which Darkrai gets of course). Then you'd have a pretty dangerous mon on your hands that is very fast and likely puts 2 mon to sleep each turn (of course, you'd need Tapu Lele or Bulu in the back to get rid of inhospitably terrains). Psyched Up Darkrai would have a great defense and its offense is already good. It could have significant HP and/or SpD investment, as well as Speed, and run Sash or a berry to be safe. Then, after it has put its targets to sleep the following turn, it could use Dream Eater (maybe boosted by Psychic Terrain) or Drain Punch (when your Attack is +2 going physical becomes a real option) to recover its health. Bad Dreams would also take their toll on the sleeping victims each turn. Not the easiest set-up, but if you could pull it off it might be pretty good. (Edit: That example is just the first thing that came to my mind late last night and I think Darkrai is potentially better than other Psych Up candidates because of its ability to essentially knock out the whole opposing side before they have a chance to react and to later recover its health while dealing significant damage. However, Sweet Scent, which is almost never used currently, would definitely be easier to pull off, as Memoric noted, and Memoric's post hints at the existence of other methods (e.g., Z Move to increase accuracy followed by Baton Pass--and Mew and Shedinja get Hone Claws and Baton Pass). There are certainly other ways to effectively boost accuracy a little bit (and every bit helps) as well, but 50% times 2 is already clearly much better than 60% times 1 and Darkrai has incredible speed to make use of that--you very likely get 1 mon asleep and Bad Dreamin' and you might get 2, so raw sleep fishing could be viable. Anyway, I think my point stands that there's some chance, especially given players' resourcefulness in developing strats, that freeing Dark Void could have a noticeable impact on the Meta and it could certainly make it more critical to carry Fini or Koko on the ladder.)

Maybe I'm missing something here (I just saw this post and it's very late my time), but I'd definitely be open to a suspecting Dark Void (a suspect of any kind on the SM DOU ladder would be awesome!). I think we just need to think about how it could actually be used by a skilled player before we unleash the Void.
 
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Idyll

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Having just looked at the Z-Moves that could grant an Accuracy boost out of due diligence (Mimic, Defense Curl, Focus Energy, etc.), it seems that Darkrai doesn't really have access to any of them. The two non-Spore sleep inducers you brought up, Z-Bronzong and Milotic, have been reliable primarily because they can actually boost their accuracy independently; Darkrai needing to Psych Up a boosted Milotic is honestly an overly ambitious idea considering how much time and space is needed to let such a strategy succeed, and that's not even considering the opponent's ability to disrupt and apply pressure. Just a Milotic alone can have a hard time finding the adequate opportunity to set up in the current meta, so the idea of putting a Darkrai on top of an already self-sufficient strategy seems too much when it comes at the opportunity cost of a teamslot. If such a strategy gets away with a boosted Darkrai, they honestly probably deserve it purely by how inept an opponent has to be to let it happen cleanly, but as it stands, such an idea seems so overcomplicated that I don't see it making an impact in any kind of high level play.

If anything, what really could be spooky would be a strat involving fast Sweet Scent to lower opposing Evasion. Something like a Skymin or Scarf Mew to Sweet Scent both opponents can likely make Darkrai's Dark Void an actual scary option. Still, this strategy does still have the problem of needing two moving parts, which makes it relatively easier to disrupt as far as strategies go. Of course, this strategy also still needs to deal with Tapu Fini and Tapu Koko, which are already two of the most ubiquitous Pokemon in the format even without Dark Void freed. Whether this is something that will make a significant impact is nevertheless intriguing.
 

Amaranth

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Psych Up is a bad move. Even if I were Psyching Up Coil boosts I'd rather do that with M-Metagross or Diancie, who will become huge threats as a result, rather than Darkrai, who can still miss or get 1-turn sleeps to end up getting very little out of this complicated setup, even assuming the Tapu Finis are appropriately removed and all. (I'd also rather have the Coil setupper be a Zygarde who's useful on his own, and then maybe Darkrai can copy the boosts for more accuracy if needed, but that's still a bit too contrived / just not strong enough)

I doubt Dark Void will push Darkai into viability. It's going to be an extra tool in his kit but it's not good at things you usually want Sleep to do; Sleep shines when it can take away key turns from an opponent who's just about to do something very impactful (big threatening attack, setting trick room etc) - if you're still allowing the opponent 50% chance to make that highly impactful move then surely the risk-reward on this is just not that good.

I feel like Darkrai with Dark Void is still best used 'raw'; a scarfer that can revengekill with strong Dark Pulses and good coverage. Then if your opponent has no terrain and no urgent way to pressure you, or if it's the best way you have to deny the opponent from getting Trick Room up, you can try leading him and clicking Dark Void, and maybe the free turns you get out of it (and the Bad Dreams chip) will amount to something. I doubt this is going to be DOU-viable, but I think it's as good as it gets.
 
I am interested in creating a catalogue of Incineroar sets which have seen success in tournaments or on high ladder. Specifically, I am interested in EV spreads, and the details of what those spreads achieve. I believe this could serve as a great resource for teambuilding, for new and seasoned players alike. However, I am not sure what the best way would be to collect and share this information. I was thinking of just asking people to post here or on my profile, then making a public Google Doc and updating it as I got submissions. I wanted to get others' input on the idea first, though (especially before asking people to flood this thread with Incineroar spreads :psynervous:)
 
I am interested in creating a catalogue of Incineroar sets which have seen success in tournaments or on high ladder. Specifically, I am interested in EV spreads, and the details of what those spreads achieve. I believe this could serve as a great resource for teambuilding, for new and seasoned players alike. However, I am not sure what the best way would be to collect and share this information. I was thinking of just asking people to post here or on my profile, then making a public Google Doc and updating it as I got submissions. I wanted to get others' input on the idea first, though (especially before asking people to flood this thread with Incineroar spreads :psynervous:)
inb4 snatch incineroar to steal tailwinds reaches 900 incillion usage
 

GenOne

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As someone revisiting SM after not playing the tier for 2 years, and having lost a DPL game this year using goth while winning a game facing a goth, is there any chance we can suspect Gothitelle and/or Shadow Tag either in SM or just for all the oldgens?

I don't want to write a novel about why its a problem since you can just read the SS arguements and they apply in past gens too.

Fwiw, asking for a suspect =/= it is for sure deserving of a ban. Asking for a suspect is saying that it _might_ be a problem and the community should talk about it.
 
As someone revisiting SM after not playing the tier for 2 years, and having lost a DPL game this year using goth while winning a game facing a goth, is there any chance we can suspect Gothitelle and/or Shadow Tag either in SM or just for all the oldgens?

I don't want to write a novel about why its a problem since you can just read the SS arguements and they apply in past gens too.

Fwiw, asking for a suspect =/= it is for sure deserving of a ban. Asking for a suspect is saying that it _might_ be a problem and the community should talk about it.
Isn't the main reason that goth was banned in 8 compared to before because it gained fake out?
 
Ryan is right, the only reason Gothitelle became too much in Gen 8 is because it got Fake Out, and the reason Shadow Tag got banned instead of just Gothitelle is because Gothorita showed up and started doing the same thing. There's really nothing broken about Gothitelle in Gen 7. Yes, I get the classic argument of "no switching = no counters", but doubles isn't usually about switching in a hard counter anyways, since for the most part switching doesn't happen much. Not to mention, several of the most common Pokemon in the tier (think Incineroar, Lando, Tapu Koko) run pivot moves, letting them switch out on Gothitelle. Gothitelle provides very little pressure on its own. It also provides basically no active threat, meaning it is often safe and easy to double up into it or its ally. This isn't to insinuate it's bad - conditionally, it can be a very reliable Trick Room setter, and its Helpign Hand support can make the likes of Gardevoir and Camerupt extremely tricky to play around. It is good, probably one of the better mons in the tier, but not broken or uncompetitive at all.

I don't want you to read this as a personal attack at all, but I take issue with the mentality of "I haven't played in years, I saw Gothitelle on two teams, we should do a suspect test." It would be more helpful for you to approach this with the mindset of "how do I learn to play around Gothitelle." We've all been playing with it for the last two years, and no action has ever been taken against it (or even serious consideration, so far as I am aware), so I don't see why you would jump to the conclusion that, when you see it on two teams, it must be broken and need a suspect test.

Edit: Just to leave this off on a more positive note, I'm glad to see somebody showing renewed interest in the tier, and I hope this doesn't drive you away. Gen 7 DOU is really fun!
 

GenOne

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Ryan is right, the only reason Gothitelle became too much in Gen 8 is because it got Fake Out, and the reason Shadow Tag got banned instead of just Gothitelle is because Gothorita showed up and started doing the same thing.
Fake Out was another tool in Goth's toolkit in SS DOU but was not the sole reason it was deemed broken whatsoever. Goth getting Fake Out was just the chef's kiss on what was already shaping up to be a problematic mon. My post above was just a quick low-effort post to start a conversation since I mentioned this in DOU's Discord and was told to do a post here, so please excuse the lack of integrity in my initial post :)

I don't want you to read this as a personal attack at all, but I take issue with the mentality of "I haven't played in years, I saw Gothitelle on two teams, we should do a suspect test." It would be more helpful for you to approach this with the mindset of "how do I learn to play around Gothitelle." We've all been playing with it for the last two years, and no action has ever been taken against it (or even serious consideration, so far as I am aware), so I don't see why you would jump to the conclusion that, when you see it on two teams, it must be broken and need a suspect test.
Just to be clear, I have been very actively playing Doubles OU this whole time, it has just been two years since I've turned my attention to SM DOU but I have been slotted into SM DOU for this year's DPL so here we are. It is fairly common after playing more modern generations of DOU to re-question tiering decisions that were made in past generations. And just to be really crystal clear, a lot of people wanted Shadow Tag or Gothitelle banned when SM DOU was still current gen meta, it just never materialized.

Edit: Just to leave this off on a more positive note, I'm glad to see somebody showing renewed interest in the tier, and I hope this doesn't drive you away. Gen 7 DOU is really fun!
Gen 7 DOU is so very balanced yet also encourages lots of innovation, even years after it was current gen DOU. DPL is great for bringing new life to oldgen tiers in general and Gen 7 DOU is def something that is fun to revisit :)
 

Z Strats

Banned deucer.
Gothitelle has very much been a problem for a while and there were absolutely people who wanted it suspected when SM was current gen, I personally think not having it suspected was a mistake. The goth doesn't have fake out argument doesn't really hold to me, while fake out does make the mon slightly better it is always the uncompetitive nature of viable trapping that gets highlighted when shadow tag gets banned in current gen which is what we see in SM. That said I don't think goth in SM is so broken that I care to fight for banning it and shake up a pretty healthy oldgen meta even if I personally think the tier would be better without it. While I wish the leadership at the time suspected goth they decided not to for whatever reason and since then nothing has changed to make goth more broken, so in a tier that gets a lot less development yearly than a current gen and is in a generally healthy spot it's probably best just to let it be.
 

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